TL;DR: Welcome to In Case You Missed It (ICYMI), a daily crypto news update. SK Group invests in crypto startup ConsenSys. Bitfinex pays $100 million back to Tether. Early Libra investors to face regulatory burden. Bitcoin darknet activity to reach ATH this year. ErisX gets CFTC approval to trade bitcoin futures, and Gab seeks to raise $10 million in Bitcoin.
SK Group Invests $10M in Blockchain Startup ConsenSys
SK Group, the biggest telecom company in South Korea, is investing $10 million dollars in Consensys, a blockchain startup helmed by Joseph Lubin, a co-founder of Ethereum. Chey Tae-won, chairman of SK Group, argued in favor of the digitization of the industry, and declared this investment in will “greatly contribute to SK and startup development.” The SK Group controls more than 95 subsidiaries sharing its name, and its focus in blockchain technology with ConsenSys is considered a bold move.
Bitfinex Paying Back $100 Million to Tether
Bitfinex, the exchange being sued by the New York Attorney General, announced they are paying back part of a loan to Tether, the company behind the USDT stablecoin. The exchange issued a new token, LEO, to repay the debt originated by a seizure of some funds through an associated third party payment processor. Payment was made in fiat currency directly to Tether’s bank account via wire.
Early Libra Backers to Face Tougher Regulation
Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and other early backers of Libra, the cryptocurrency project proposed by Facebook, could face a heavier regulatory burden due to their allegiance with the project. This is the opinion of Morgan Stanley analyst James Faucette, who wrote these companies might be victims of the possible success of a “supranational currency beyond the control of governments and central banks.” This would cause regulators to hit the visible face of the project, leaving them at risk. Libra will also be the topic of a congressional hearing this month.
Bitcoin Darknet Activity Projected to Reach Peak Levels This Year
According to blockchain research firm Chainalysis, the use of bitcoin on darknet markets is set to reach all time high numbers this year, even when regulators have tried to put barriers to stop this. $515 million have already been spent in these unregulated markets, and the projection points to this number reaching $1 billion before year’s end. Hydra, the famous dark market, is one of the most visited.
ErisX Gets CFTC Approval to Offer Bitcoin Futures
ErisX, the exchange backed by TD Ameritrade, received the green light to trade bitcoin physically settled futures contracts. Thomas Chippas, CEO of ErisX stated, “ErisX is unique in that for our digital asset market, we have divided the trading and settlement functions using traditional DCM (exchange) and DCO (clearing) models,” noting their focus is on making these assets trusted for institutional investors.
New Decentralized Gab Social Aims to Raise $10 Million in Bitcoin
Gab, a free speech Twitter alternative, is pitching itself to investors as a newly developed decentralized social platform, unable to be de-platformed. The new structure of the service, called Gab Social, will allow anyone to run a server that can be replaced by other ones in case of an attack. With Gab Social and their Dissenter social commentary app, they aim to raise $10 million dollars in bitcoin to be used in rebuilding parts of their site and to grow their brand.
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